TORONTO, Ont.—One of the more household names for those who follow Canadian youth soccer was signed earlier this morning as Toronto FC announced a Homegrown deal with 17-year-old forward Jayden Nelson.
“Jayden is an incredible young player: very explosive and dynamic,” said Toronto FC General Manager Ali Curtis. “[He’s] not afraid to take players on in the attacking third. We love his mentality—humble but confident.”
A natural winger, Nelson appeared in 14 matches for Toronto FC II during the 2019 USL League One regular season, picking up three assists in the span. He made his professional debut with the Young Reds on April 6, 2019, when he came off the bench against Orlando City B.
“He was the  Canadian Youth International Player of the Year, and it is not surprising,” added Curtis. “Jayden has all the tools to be a top player. He’s only 17, so we need to be measured with his development, but we believe he can be a very important player for both club and country,”
This month has been memorable for the Brampton native. In addition to signing his first pro deal, on the international front, Nelson recently received his first call-up to the Canadian senior squad, appearing in all three of Canada’s recent friendlies, capped off with his first senior goal against Barbados on Jan. 10.
Nelson became the third Homegrown Player signed by the Reds in the past three days—a testament to Toronto FC’s investment in domestic talent—after Curtis and co. signed their youngest player in club history and fellow Brampton-native Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty on Wednesday and Richmond Hill-native Rocco Romeo on Tuesday.
As mentioned in Wednesday night’s TFC Notebook, we expected at least one more Homegrown signing. Barring a terrific camp, Nelson may be the last (for now).